Humanity’s habit of judging things completely based on only part of the picture.
What’s been on my mind the past week or so is how quick people are to judge situations and people based on the little information they have. To be honest, we humans are lazy and judgemental; that is our nature and it is so easy to just live within that habit, never wishing to expand beyond it. We can sit there and look at a person’s life and judge their character based on the little we know or we can look at an entire culture or race and judge the collective based on a throwaway comment or event that we hear or see. And it happens over and over and over again.
What perfectly matches this is a quote I heard a while back: ‘We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior’ in that we can do something and justify or excuse it because we know what led us to that decision or idea; but we look at someone else and see their actions and decide that they are impulsive, or mean, or terrible without even thinking to look beyond the event itself. We see maybe 10% of another person’s life and yet often judge their entire self based off the little that we see- judging a person’s entire life story when we have only read a single chapter. And it’s a constant thing that happens and is quickly accepted.
Were a very self-interested society really and that is neither a good or bad thing- it is how we apply that self-interest that decides that. It is natural to care more about your own family then the family of other people, especially in times or trouble or chaos and that is ok. But it is when we take this too far that it drifts into the negative aspect. When we are hurt by the actions of others, seeing it as an attack against our own world and decide to cruelly strike out because what their world view is doesn’t match our own. We can be verbal or physical in the instigation of this anger and the degree changes based on how far we go.
And every person has different levels for different topics; they can be incredibly tolerant in one particular area and completely intolerant in another. Because we as humans are complex and that complexity is seen in many different ways. So many ideas and thoughts go into the making of one decision and yet, once that one decision is made, all of the ideas and thoughts are not seen by those around us. It’s a constant judgement of the destination we have arrived at without seeing the journey that made it so. Where maybe you arrived at a different place, but you were walking down a paved path without many obstacles to get there while someone else arrived at a different place, but had to cut through the wild countryside or snow to finally arrive there.
And now you are judging them based on where they ended up while they are just relieved that they finally arrived somewhere safe and clear. And yet, you may not have actually even arrived at the proper destination that exists within that area, yet found a path and a place to stop an decided that was it- and you were content with that and nothing more. Then you saw people on other mountaintops and laughed and ridiculed them because they were in the wrong place and foolish compared to you, as if you paved that road you walked yourself.
And yet, someone else finally arrives at the true destination and mountaintop everyone is trying to reach, is able to see the entire area all around them, and glances down at you to see that the mountain top you are on ends where you stand and the only way down is back the way you came from, while the one that struggled through the countryside still has more to go ahead of them because they are not as limited as you are. And yet so many decided not to ask for directions from those on other mountaintops and instead speak with those on the same mountaintop as them, and based on their similar paths(with no opposing words involved) believe that they have found the true destination of the entire mountain range, when they have barely even entered a small percentage of the range.
Meanwhile, the person at the very top of the mountain range has traversed all over the range, walked from mountain to mountain, learned as much as they could and then, with that information, found the greatest mountain of the entire range. And yet, you look at them and mock them, not even seeing how much greater their mountaintop is to yours, blind to the truth of the world around you with only those of similar thoughts around to speak to you. As for what I’m trying to get at with this post, I am not sure, but it is one path on the world’s mountain range that I am trying to explore and map out and is where I have decided to rest. And one day I may take up this path again or may choose to walk somewhere else instead, but that remains to be seen.